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Food illness Attorney Calls for FDA to Ban Unpasteurized Juices

SEATTLE, WA - In light of the recent recall of unpasteurized juice by its California manufacturer, Seattle attorney William Marler is calling on the FDA to completely ban the sale of all unpasteurized juices. “It is simply outrageous that after all we’ve learned about the importance of pasteurizing fruit juice, especially after the Odwalla and Sun Orchard outbreaks, we still have companies selling unpasteurized juices, and the government allowing it. This must stop,” said Mr. Marler.

Salmonella is not uncommon in unpasteurized juice. An outbreak in 1995 sickened 60 people in Florida who drank orange juice contaminated with multiple strains of the Salmonella bacteria. Another outbreak in 1999, linked to salmonella tainted orange juice sold by Sun Orchard, Inc., made over 200 people ill. “When will companies learn, and when will our government get off its hands and do something to protect consumers, especially children and the elderly,” continued Marler.

There are approximately 2,000 serotypes of Salmonella that can cause sickness in humans. A common myth is that you can only get Salmonella from raw eggs, but various Salmonella species have been found in foods such as raw meats, poultry, swine, milk and dairy products, fish, frog legs, yeast, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate, and environmental sources such as water, insects, and kitchen surfaces. The reality is Salmonella is being reported in new mediums that were once thought harmless, such as the recent infections linked to a toasted oat cereal and orange juice.

There has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of salmonellosis all over the world, including the United States. Every year, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States. Because many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections is sometimes estimated to be twenty or more times greater. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 persons in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: William Marler has extensive experience representing victims of food-borne illness. He represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement with Jack in the Box. This settlement created a Washington State record for an individual personal injury action. Mr. Marler also represented several other victims from the 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak with numerous cases settling for more than $1.5 million each. In May 1998, he settled the 1996 Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children were severely injured after consuming Odwalla apple juice. Additionally, he has represented over 100 victims of salmonellosis stemming from unpasteurized orange juice, sprouts, and cereal.

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